NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, March 25th
(All times Eastern)
Ottawa Senators (29-29-13) at Florida Panthers (26-38-8), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - After snapping their longest winless drought of the
season, the Ottawa Senators look to breathe life into their playoff hopes on
Tuesday night as they visit the Florida Panthers.
The Senators carried an 0-4-2 drought into last night's encounter with the
Tampa Bay Lightning, and despite blowing a two-goal lead left town with a 4-3
It gave Ottawa its first victory since March 8 and the club will try to win
two in a row for the first time since Feb. 4-6. The Sens' recent drought
knocked the club nine points back of a wild card spot.
Erik Karlsson, Kyle Turris and Jason Spezza all scored in regulation for the
Senators, who failed to hold a 3-1 lead but got the extra point when Spezza
scored the only shootout tally.
Spezza, Ottawa's second shooter, entered the zone and moved the puck back and
forth several times before releasing a wrister that fooled Lightning netminder
Ben Bishop and found twine in the top right corner.
"I don't think I am reinventing the wheel. I just slowed down and made a
couple of stickhandles and waited for the right time to shoot it," said Spezza
on his move in the shootout.
Robin Lehner made 35 saves before going perfect in the shootout for Ottawa.
Karlsson, who scored in a third straight game, also had two assists to run his
point streak to seven straight games. The defenseman has 11 points over his
run and leads all NHL blueliners with 20 goals and 68 points.
Though winger Bobby Ryan is expected to miss a second straight game with a
lower-body injury, netminder Craig Anderson may make his first start since
suffering an upper-body injury on March 10. He dressed as the backup to Lehner
on Monday and is 10-2-1 with a 2.06 goals against average and two shutouts
lifetime versus the Panthers.
Florida returns home for three straight following a four-game road trip. The
Panthers began the swing with a big win over the San Jose Sharks, but were
outscored 12-3 in losing the final three contests.
The Panthers concluded the trip with a 6-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Jimmy
Hayes and Tomas Fleischmann scored in a 2:01 span of the second period to pull
Florida within one before Anaheim pulled away.
"They've (the Ducks) had a little adversity lately but you had to be ready for
a big push out of them," Panthers goaltender Dan Ellis said after making 34
Roberto Luongo figures to get the start in net tonight for Florida and is
10-11-0 lifetime versus the Senators with a 2.89 GAA.
The Panthers lost their first two meetings with the Sens this season before
notching a 4-2 victory in Ottawa on Dec. 19.
The Senators have won 13 of the previous 16 meetings overall and eight of the
last 11 played in Florida.
03/25 10:48:14 ET